All parents are very aware, and typically well-prepared, when it comes to making all the necessary changes to their homes and lives when expecting a child. However, when parents require daycare services, they no longer have complete control over their children’s safety. For this reason, it is vital to try to ensure your daycare, whether within your home or at an official commercial location, it’s properly arranged to prevent foreseeable accidents and injuries, including mental and emotional harm.
Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for enhancing your business’s childproofing strategies, as well as, where you can learn more about your liability in the case that a child is injured under your care, or the care of your staff.
As a daycare provider, you are responsible for ensuring the children are fully protected when in your care. Whether out of your house or in an official location, your most important duty is to make sure your premises are safe for children of all ages, as well as adults and staff. If a child is injured as a result of your negligence in this area, then you can be held legally accountable for their losses and damages, such as hospital bills, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. It is also vital to have liability insurance, along with all the proper insurance for running a company, just to ensure you are protected against incidents as well.
You can find countless “childproof” and “child-safe” products on the market, online, and at your local baby stores. Gates, locks, electrical outlet covers, corner rubber bumpers, and more that can be purchased at a reasonable price. With all this possible merchandise, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to implementing safety features around your home. But you can prevent serious accidents and injuries with proper preventative maintenance child-proofing.
Here are some of the most important areas of a daycare that should be child-proofed:
Kitchens are not always common in a daycare facility, but if yours has one, it is important to take the proper precautions. Especially in residential daycare settings, kitchens are popular hang-out areas, thus posing more opportunity for kids to be able to access potentially harmful products, utensils, or small appliances. Be sure to acquire locks for heavy appliances like stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
Also, if you use a stove or oven in the presence of children, it is vigilant to mount stove barriers so that open flames, hot grease, water, and oil cannot splash off and burn a little one. Furthermore, it is wise to cover electrical outlets with sliding plastic covers to protect curious fingers from electrocutions or shocks.
☑ Utility Closets and Cleaning Supplies
Along with protecting children from harmful or toxic products, such as pesticides, detergents, batteries, vitamins, and medication, it is important to store cleaning solutions and item in an above cabinet or designated closet, rather than below a sink. If you do use a cleaning closet, be sure to keep it locked at all times.
☑ General Play Areas
This type of area is usually a common grounds for children, like playrooms and living rooms. This area needs the same type of kid-proofing strategies as kitchens, as well as some additional ones. The first thing you need to do is install plastic covers on any exposed or accessible electrical outlets to prevent electrocution and electrical burns. Also, it is important to install rubber bumpers on corners of furniture to prevent cuts, bruises, gashes, head and brain trauma, eye injuries, and more. For home daycares, another safety feature that you’ll need for these areas are furniture straps, which bolt down top-heavy furniture to the ground, such as T.V.’s, bookshelves, armoires, dressers, liquor cabinets, and more.
Also, one of the most obvious safety feature to have on hand are baby gates. Use these to block off staircases, hallways, laundry rooms with utility appliances in them, and other “off-limit” areas. Now, the last and most-often overlooked, child-proofing feature for a home babysitter has to do with curtains. We are talking about curtain cords. It is important to purchase a cord shortening contraption or a wind-up bracket so that kids cannot choke or strangle themselves.
☑ Bathrooms and Outdoor Areas
For bathrooms, there is plenty you can do. For starters, be sure to install toilet seat locks to prevent drowning accidents. You will also want to turn down water thermostat temperature levels on your water heater to prevent scalding accidents, as well as, install GCFI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet covers to prevent water-induced electrocutions.
For outdoor areas, install netting in between deck and patio posts to prevent tripping and falls. It is also vital to ensure pools are properly covered and locked. In fact, for pools, you should also consider gate locks and drain covers. After all, children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rates according to the CDC. Furthermore, every day, an average of 2 children 14 years old and younger, die from drowning.
Indianapolis Child Injury Lawyers
To learn more about how to make a personal injury claim for your child who was injured in daycare, call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 today. Our seasoned Indianapolis personal injury lawyers can help you understand what you need to know about premise liability, negligent supervision, and more. For clients, we offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you.